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Report - Imperial March - FR 2011

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by johnsalomon, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. johnsalomon

    johnsalomon Germany is the "wurst"
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    This, boys and girls, is the story of a big man, in a big suit, and a big hat, in a big castle.

    Today I'm going to lay claim to the first unauthorized photo trip (at least as far as I can tell) to the residence....(cue dramatic chord dun Dun DUNN) of a real live emperor.

    I'm not going to name names in this thread, to try and confound libelous litigation while I'm still in the country, and I encourage you to do the same, but in 1966, this gentleman, after a somewhat distinguished career in the French army, and a somewhat less-illustrious run as commander in chief of his central African nation's 500-man armed forces, decided that everyone would be a lot better off if he were President.

    Then President for Life.

    Then...wait for it....Emperor.

    Next to Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, one of only two that Africa had seen - but unlike that long gone fellow's ancient Solomonic dynasty that traced its roots back to the 1200s before being overthrown by the sadistic communist Dergue junta, our friend further West lasted only a bit less than three years in his office.

    As one of many corrupt, totalitarian, autocratic recipients of vast amounts of American, Soviet, French, and other foreign aid (if you _really_ want an amazing read about why Africa is such a monumental clusterfuck, I highly recommend The State Of Africa by Martin Meredith - make sure you have a good whiskey on standby because it'll get you really steamed up), his Imperial Highness, as he styled himself, decided the time was right to gain some respect from the big boys with an appropriate title.

    Unfortunately, in the course of his coronation, he ended up blowing his country's entire foreign aid budget on baubles, diamond-encrusted crowns, and a massive solid gold throne for himself.

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    How awesome is that?

    So his French former benefactors finally decided to remove him, at which point he retired to a humble castle near Paris, bitching incessantly about the terms of his exile.

    I highly encourage you to research this a bit - while this is not one of the most dramatic places that's been posted, by far, the back story utterly eclipses anything I've ever read in these pages by a vast, vast amount in terms of tragic hilarity. Some particularly choice bits:

    - accusations of cannibalism - never proven, thrown out of court after he returned home for trial due to a technicality (an earlier pardon)
    - claims that he had fed human flesh to a French President (with whom he claims to have shared women)
    - the downfall of a French government over gifts of two massive multi-million dollar diamonds to the President (a hunting buddy of his).
    - polygamy
    - a tryst with islam after a visit to Muammar Qaddafi, hoping for foreign aid - after the aid failed to arrive, that idea was quickly ditched
    - beating a bunch of school children to death with his ivory-topped cane after they refused to buy expensive uniforms with his picture on them

    ...it goes on.

    The castle itself stands empty today, bought at forced auction by an attorney over the vehement protests of the local mayor. Accusations of fraud fly back and forth as the tragic mess that this once-magnificent pile has degenerated into, rots quietly away in the middle of a small, posh commuter town.

    Also, a spiral staircase for Xan_Asmodi, just because I'm in an imperial mood today.

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    No, seriously, the guy thought he was Napoléon. Utterly nuts. Whee.

    I'm not too happy with this set of pictures - the light was utterly awful thanks to the recent bit of cloud cover, and I didn't have much to work with. Also, the decor in the place is tacky and doesn't lend itself to a great deal of artistic improvisation. I intentionally left most of the pictures a bit askew, as it works with the chaos left behind by the last residents upon moving out. Tyrants have absolutely no taste in decor and clothing. Trust me.

    More, as always, at kosmograd dot net (please forgive crappy new layout, working on a new theme).
     

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